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Higbee & Associates, a national law firm

Texas Full Pardon with Firearm Restoration FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

This page was designed to help our clients better understand our Texas Full Pardon with Firearm Restoration service. You will find answers to the questions we are most frequently asked. If your question is related to eligibility requirements please take the free online eligibility test.

Why or when should I apply for a pardon rather than expungement or other relief?

You should only apply for a pardon when you are not eligible for an Expungement or Order of Nondisclosure (sealing).

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Is there a waiting period that must pass before I can apply for a pardon?

Currently, full pardons are not being considered for people in prison. Also, if your case received a deferred adjudication, you must wait for 10 years after completion of the deferred adjudication sentence. You also must wait two years from a Board denial before reapplying. Furthermore, the governor generally will only issue pardons to applicants who have been discharged from probation or parole and who have demonstrated true rehabilitation.

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Can I clear my federal conviction or conviction from another state?

No, if you have a federal conviction or a conviction from another state, you are not eligible to apply for a Texas pardon. The Texas governor only has authority to grant pardons to people who have been convicted of a crime in the State of Texas. You may be able to clear your out of state conviction with a pardon from the state of origination.

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Do I need to expunge my cases first before applying for a pardon?

No, you are not required to expunge your record before applying for a pardon. In fact, most people apply for pardons because their record is not eligible to be expunged and because obtaining a pardon allows for a person to apply for expungement.

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If I have more than one conviction on my record, do I need to get a pardon for each case?

No, the pardon applies to all Texas convictions on your criminal record.

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What is the pardon process?

When you sign up, we will create an online account for you to track all the progress of your case while we prepare it. After you provide us with as much case information as you can, we will complete case research and obtain all necessary documents needed to file the pardon application. We may need you to obtain a criminal history report, but we will send you instructions for obtaining this. After everything is gathered, we will file the application with the Board of Pardons and Paroles. Once all the necessary documents are submitted, our services are complete unless you'd like to hire us for an additional fee to attend a hearing (if one is held).

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How long does the process take?

Unfortunately, there is no standardized time frame that the governor must follow after receiving a pardon application, so we are unable to provide an expected timeframe. However, you should reasonably expect the process to take at least a few years.

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Can the pardon process be done faster?

We will work on your case as quickly as possible. But, the process is a long one and an applicant should be expected to wait several years before an answer is received. Once the application has been filed, there is no way to expedite the process. The governor is under no obligation to take any action once an application is submitted, which results in an unpredictable and unknown timeframe.

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What if I move before I have heard back from the governor’s office concerning my pardon application?

If you move to a new address before you have received a decision on your pardon application to governor’s office, you need to notify them of the address change in writing. After we have filed your application for a pardon, we can send you a sample letter that you can use to notify the governor of any address changes.

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Will there be a hearing and do I need to attend?

In almost all instances, no hearing is held. Before recommending a pardon, the Board of Pardons and Paroles conducts an investigation. During this investigation period, the Board may contact various government agencies that were involved in the case, like the prosecutor, the police or sheriff’s office who made the arrest, and any other person or agency with information that could be useful in completing the investigation. Based on their findings, the Board will then issue a recommendation to the governor as to whether the pardon should be granted.

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What happens after the pardon is granted?

After the governor has taken action on a pardon, the governor’s office will send out written notice to the applicant. Once the pardon has been granted, the governor’s office will notify the Texas Department of Public Safety and the FBI so that they can update their records to reflect the pardon. While the granted pardon does become public record, certain personal information is removed prior to it being made available to the public.

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What if my request for pardon is denied?

Unfortunately, neither the Board or the Governor are not required to provide any reason for the denial of a pardon application. Generally, the common reason for a denied pardon request is simply that the Board or the Governor do not feel that the applicant has earned it. Unless the applicant has demonstrated that he has lived a productive and law-abiding life since the offense and that the applicant is fully rehabilitated, the governor will not grant the pardon.

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What does a pardon do?

A pardon is an official issuance of forgiveness for a person who has been convicted of a crime. A pardon does not erase or seal the conviction, but will restore certain rights that were lost as a result of the conviction, and allows for a person to file for an expungement. While the pardon does not hide the criminal record, it does serve as a useful tool when trying to obtain employment, licenses, housing, etc. as having a pardon indicates that you have been legally forgiven for the crime(s) by the highest governmental authority in the state.

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Will a pardon expunge, seal, or otherwise erase my conviction(s)?

No. However, a pardon does allow you to later file for expungement with the court.

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Do I ever have to disclose my conviction if I receive a pardon?

Yes, even though you’ve received a pardon from the governor, you are still required to disclose your convictions on certain employment applications. You should check with an employment lawyer to see when a disclosure is required.

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Will my conviction still show on a background check?

Yes, your conviction will still show on some background checks, even after you have been granted a pardon by the governor. The pardon does not seal, expunge, or set aside/reverse the conviction. However, after a pardon is granted, you can then apply for expungement.

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How do government agencies know that I was granted a pardon?

When your pardon is granted, the governor’s office sends notice to you, and to all other required government agencies.

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How long do records take to be updated?

On average, it can take between 30-60 days for agencies to receive notice of a granted pardon. Assuming that the agencies do not have a backlog, your record should be updated within that time period. If you are concerned that your record has not been updated, you can always request a copy of your criminal history report.

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Will a pardon help me with immigration?

A criminal record can impact your immigration case, but because every immigration case is unique, each case should be reviewed by a qualified immigration attorney to determine if a pardon would be beneficial.

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Will a pardon restore my firearm rights?

Yes, as long as your granted pardon includes firearm rights restoration.

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Can my pardoned case still be used against me for a future conviction?

Yes, if you are arrested and charged for a new crime, the court can consider your pardoned record as a previous conviction.

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Can I become a teacher, nurse, etc. after receiving a pardon?

Receiving a pardon will greatly increase your chances of receiving the requisite state license and obtaining employment in those fields. However, a pardon does not prevent some licensing agencies from still considering the conviction in determining whether a license should be granted to practice certain professions.

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Does a pardon help if I want to join the military?

If you want to join the US military, your record will become a federal law matter, instead of a Texas state law. All branches of the military will want to know about your criminal history, even if you have received a pardon. Even though a pardon forgives you for that specific offense, there is still a risk of being discharged from the military if you do not tell them about the offense and they later find out about it. You should always disclose the conviction, but also mention that you have received a pardon from the Governor of Texas and so this offense should no longer be held against you.

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When does your representation of my pardon application end?

Representation by our firm terminates upon submission of the pardon application to the relevant board or Governor’s office. Any assistance after submission is not guaranteed and would require a new written agreement and an additional payment, including for support via email or phone. While we do provide instructions, it is your responsibility to keep the board or Governor’s office updated with your address and any other important changes or to hire an attorney to assist you with these updates.

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The first step towards a better life begins with finding out if you are eligible for Texas Full Pardon with Firearm Restoration.

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Call us at Toll Free (877) 573-7273
Please take the free online eligibility test before calling.

Law Firm of Higbee & Associates
1001 Texas Ave., Suite 500, Houston, TX 77002 *

12785 Research Blvd Suite 125, Austin, TX 78750 *
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